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Wednesday 21.02.2018 | Name days: Eleonora, Ariadne

Ventspils City Council opposition member sees possibility of establishing closer ties with Unity

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«If Unity is interested, and wants to come back to the values it once had, we may consider working more closely. My knowledge and experience from the past 5-6 years may be useful in restarting political cooperation and restoration of lost influence,» said Ventpils City Council opposition member Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis.

Kristovskis recalled that at the early stages of Unity’s development, in the first one and a half years, when he still participated in the party’s formation, there was a lot of contact with competition from three of Unity’s forming political forces – Civic Union, Society for Different Policy and New Era party.

«It was not healthy competition all the time. I think individual goals, incompatibility of tactical solutions and methods, different interpretations of political compromises resulted in tense relations within the party, which only increased Solvita Āboltiņa’s desire to replay Civic Union in the form of ‘screw Kristovskis,’» says the politician.

He says he had no intention of continuing like this. Because of that, he decided to leave politics.

With Unity as a sail, then the speaker of Saeima Solvita Āboltiņa enjoyed steady sailing after the collapse of New Era. This wind carried her towards expanding influence in the country, even reaching out as far as the president’s seat. Clearly Unity’s chances and choices were all driven towards that, comments Kristovskis.

«Neutralization of potentially troublesome politicians on one side and formation of secret agreements with political opponents from the other helped drive the whole affair. It is because of those backstage agreements that Valdis Dombrovskis was ‘exiled’ from Latvia and Raimonds Vējonis and not Egils Levits, who is far more deserving, was made president. These are but some of the known scheming cases that would not have been possible without Āboltiņa. Those political deals took over Unity and reshaped its objective more towards expanding its political influence. However, it is clear now that this tactic has failed in the long run. Those schemes have resulted in one thing – the collapse of both Āboltiņa and her political hopes. Unfortunately, they have also resulted in Unity’s foundation shaking up and the Union of Greens and Farmers getting the upper hand,» the politician said in an interview.

Kristovskis says that Unity under Āboltiņa’s leadership agreed to give away many of its positions to a political force that has ties to Aivars Lembergs. This game, however, did not pay off in the end.

The city council member says that Āboltiņa’s long period of leadership has led the party in a state of stagnation. Its creativity seems compromised and its political potential is reduced to nothing – the party’s competitiveness is almost no more. What Kristovskis had predicted in 2011 has come to pass.

«Unity is trying to prove to society that it has learned its mistakes and that it wishes to change, that the party is competent enough to participate in the development of Latvia’s national development, as well as resolution of social and other problems. I am happy about that, because I understand this party’s importance and values. Especially today!» said the politician.

Kristovskis told BNN that he still sees potential in Unity and that he hopes that the party, which had once united the political will of an entire generation, the desire to serve state interests and consider serious changes. Still, Kristovskis adds: «For me to return to an active role in Unity, there has to be mutual desire.»

BNN contacted Unity’s secretary general Artis Kampars. He also admitted that he would like to see Kristovskis more active in the national policy. «Kristovskis is a welcome politician in Latvia. We would be happy to see him more active. Unity’s board has yet to hold talks with Kristovskis, but we do communicate with him on a regular basis. I hope he returns to politics on a national level,» added Kampars.

As for his active years in politics, Kristovskis said that ever since the independence vote in May 1990, most of those years were spent accomplishing Latvia’s security goals. Gradually his work transformed into forming Latvia’s defensive capabilities and movement towards Latvia’s joining of NATO and European Union.

«Focusing on reaching those goals, I hoped values and good state management requirements recommended by the European Union would have a healing effect on Latvia’s society and state administration. I had hope that state capture and maddening privatization the likes of which we had seen in the ‘90s would no longer be possible and the country would enter a process of internal cleansing,» said Kristovskis.

The politician said that there was hope that the people who received posts in state companies and access to resources of the national economy would one day thank society for their decision to put them in those posts and entrust them with such authority. «I have the feeling that while waiting for gratitude, society did not ask hard enough to remove and punish the people that, unfortunately, continue pulling their noses and putting all their efforts into staying in power at any cost,» adds the politician.

«There are still many unused development options in Latvia. The reason for the fact that they remain unused lies in the lack of good state management, which is actively used by criminal groups or oligarchs to serve their own interests. Violations of the law and general lawlessness affects people’s welfare come as consequences of state capture. All this, one way or another, has a negative impact on national economy and people’s morale,» comments Kristovskis.

The politician says that oligarchs’ remainder in power in Latvia presents a risk for residents to lose hope in important democratic values. State officials’ responsibility for Latvia’s future and their ability to defend its basic values should be the absolute goal, says Kristovskis.

«This is why it is important that the people who become representatives of the people, especially the ones proposed as candidates for the post of Saeima, prime minister and state president, there are men and women residents would like to follow and entrust the future of the country. Those people hold in their hands Latvia’s continued existence. It is an enormous amount of responsibility,» said Kristovskis.

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